The LG SK9Y soundbar is a powerful and versatile audio device that can provide an immersive audio experience for any home theater setup. This soundbar is equipped with Dolby Atmos technology, which provides an immersive surround sound experience with realistic and accurate audio placement.
This soundbar is perfect for anyone who wants good sound without having to clutter their room with multiple speakers. Today we bring the LG SK9Y soundbar review to tell you what the soundbar has to offer and how it performs.
Pros & Cons
- Amazing front soundstage
- Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby Digital
- Google Assistant built-in
- Subwoofer with integrated design
- Front-heavy acoustics
- There are only a few connections
- No eARC/HDR10+ support
The LG SL9 soundbar is the company’s latest addition. While it retains many of the features of last year, such as the Meridian Audio technology or Dolby Atmos decoding, it also adds many new features.
This year, the SL9YG now supports DTS:X. LG also integrated Google Assistant into the soundbar, making it an AI-enhanced smart speaker and fully active soundbar. The slimline new chassis is easily installed in two orientations, adjusting sound processing accordingly. It’s sleek and easy to use.
The LG SL9YG features a new design with a slimmer form factor. It measures only 57mm (around two inches) high. This allows it to be installed in front of a TV without blocking its screen.
Although the chassis was more angular this year than the LG sound bars last year, the build quality is excellent. The chassis features a mesh grille that wraps around the soundbars and a dark-grey brushed metal finish.
The mesh grille hides the front- and side-firing speakers. The circular upward-firing drivers are visible on the top of the soundbar. It is 1220mm wide (48 inches), making it suitable for screens up to 55 inches. At 6.3kg (around 14 lbs), it is pretty heavy. LG provides the brackets for mounting the bar vertically against a wall.
The SL9 adjusts audio processing to accommodate this situation. Two centrally mounted displays are located on the top and front of the LG sound bar. Depending on the orientation of your sound bar, either one or both will be visible. Below each five-character display are four LED indicators that will allow you to use Google Assistant.
The SL9YG includes a dedicated wireless subwoofer. It is made of MDF with three sides covered with black fabric and a plain grey top plate. It has a 7-inch front-firing driver and a rear port.
Although it is solid, it is not as strong as the central unit. The sub measures 221x390x313mm (WxHxD) and should be paired automatically with the sound bar.
The display is below the touch-sensitive controls at the central unit’s top. These controls can change the volume, activate Google Assistant, and mute the near-field microphones. This allows you to control the volume and voice of the device, while LG offers a convenient remote app for Android and iOS.
The remote control is small and has large buttons for power, volume, and function (for cycling through inputs), and mute. There are also buttons to select sound effects, mute the microphones, and activate Google Assistant.
Below these buttons are smaller buttons that allow you to play/pause, skip forwards or backward, navigate USB file folders, information, repeat, night mode, and sound tuning.
The connections are found in a recess on the soundbar’s underside and consist of an HDMI input and output with ARC. Optical digital audio input is also included. There is built-in wifi (2.4 and 5.GHz) and Bluetooth (v4.2 SBC), which can be used as a Bluetooth speaker and support for Google Chromecast audio.
Design TL:DR: This sleek design can be mounted flat or vertically against a wall. The audio processing will adjust itself, which is very cool. However, the connections are limited.
The LG SL9YG has a 4.1.2-channel speaker system. It features two forward-firing, two side-firing, and one pair of upward-firing microphones. These speakers bounce sound off the ceiling and create the illusion of overhead channels. The subwoofer delivers the ‘point one’, while the whole system boasts 500W of amplifying power.
The SL9 has only two forward-firing speakers. This means that there is no dedicated center speaker. It supports Dolby Atmos, DTSX, and their main variants, except for IMAX Enhanced DTSX:X.
The box can provide 4.1.2 channels, and the soundbar and subwoofer can also deliver rear channels. However, those who want to increase the number of channels can purchase the optional SPK8S wireless speakers.
Although connectivity is limited for the price, the HDMI ports can pass 4K/60p and 4:4:4 HDCP 2.2 and high dynamic range (specifically HDR10 and HLG) and Dolby Vision. It’s not surprising that there is no HDR10+ support, given LG’s aversion to the format. However, it is odd that LG doesn’t offer eARC support on its 2019 TVs with HDMI 2.1 inputs.
The SL9 offers immersive audio and serious Hi-Fi specs. It supports high-resolution audio and a 192kHz/24 bit DAC. You can also playback MP3, WAV, and AAC/AAC+ file formats. Chromecast is also included, allowing you to cast songs, podcasts, and stations from TIDAL and Spotify.
LG offers a variety of sound effects (modes) such as Adaptive Sounds Control (ASC), Standard Music, Movie, and Bask Blast. There’s also a Night Mode and Dynamic Range Control, an Auto Volume Leveller, a User EQ settings, and an Auto Volume Leveller.
A Surround mode is also available, which up-mixes non-immersive sounds to take advantage of the overhead channels.
Google Assistant is built-in to the SL9 YG, hence the G at the end of the model number. You can use your voice to interact with the soundbar and google play music and vocally interact with it. Just say Hey Google to get started.
You can also use the Google Assistant buttons on your central unit, controller, or remote app. You’ll be able to use an AI-enhanced smart LG wi-fi speaker within seconds.
The soundbar can be placed horizontally in front of an LG Oled TV or vertically against a wall. The SL9 YG will detect the difference and optimize the speaker arrangement. Meridian’s digital signal processing technology allows for a wider soundstage and raises the ear level even though the facing downwards is now facing upwards.
Features TL:DR: Dolby Atmos, DTS:X support promises plenty of immersive audio enjoyment, while the integrated Google Assistant makes it more than a soundbar.
The installation can be overwhelming, just like with many other models. Once you’ve plugged in the soundbar and subwoofer and connected the optical cable or HDMI cable, you can immediately start listening.
You can click the LG SK9Y via wifi or a LAN cable to take it one step further. The LG wifi speaker app can be downloaded on Android or iOS. This app allows you to set up and configure the soundbar.
This setting is evident, as LG provides a step-by-step plan. You will be able to follow the steps. You can also install additional rear speakers to connect to your LG SK9Y. Surround audio, however convincing, is much better than Dolby Atmos support.
This link can also be done via the application. You will likely spend more time removing the speakers from the boxes than setting everything up correctly. It will happen after a few minutes.
Read our article to have a wide understanding of the place to put a soundbar
The LG SL9 is a great all-rounder, with surprisingly musical stereo content. The soundbar instantly reproduces the perfect combination of Marcie’s vocals and Siobhan’s deep, more throaty delivery when you play Shakespeare’s Sister’s latest single, All the Queen’s Horses. Stereo imaging and detail revival are excellent. The subwoofer provides a powerful bass line that propels the song to its conclusion.
After proving that the SL9 can handle the basics, it was time for more channels. The LG was given a thorough workout by The Boys, an Amazon series that features a fantastic 5.1 mix.
The soundbar created a large and dynamic soundstage that produced music and effects on both sides, creating a wall. Despite not having a dedicated center speaker, the dialogue was apparent (especially Karl Urban’s comedy cockney accent).
Although there was no sense of surround envelopment, it’s not surprising given the absence of rear speakers. Side-firing speakers add width, but they can’t generate any sounds behind you. While the surround mode does not help, it brings upwardly-firing drivers into the picture. This gives The Boys’ aggressive music more impact.
The Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House features a Dolby Atmos mix. It’s delivered via HDMI-ARC using the internal app on an LG 65C8. A particularly effective episode is set in a funeral home during severe storms.
Thunder rolls overhead, and frightening sounds are heard from the sides. Although the soundstage is limited to the first third, the performance is still a significant improvement on the TV’s built-in speakers.
Your room and ceiling will determine the effectiveness of the upward-firing speaker. The speakers can make a real impact if you have a reflective ceiling. They bounce sounds at the listener, creating the illusion of multiple channels.
This technology is not suitable for vaulted ceilings or high ceilings. Although the subwoofer provides a powerful bass boost to the system, this is not overpowering and can be integrated.
The 4K Blu-ray discs of Alita: Battle Angel features an energetic Atmos soundtrack, which the SL9 delivers with skill. The music and effects are located in the middle of the large room during Motor-Ball. There are also some great crowd sounds and overhead sounds. Although it’s still very front-heavy, the dialogue is clear and focused on the screen. The sub also adds weight to the robot centurions that patrol the streets.
Waterworld’s UHD disc features a brand new DTS:X soundtrack. It delivers a rich mix that uses all frequencies. The SL9 can handle the heavy bass effects. The score is heavy on drums and machine gunfire.
The jet skis can fly above the audience thanks to the upward-firing speakers. The presentation is object-based, but the effects are weighted to occupy the top third of the room.
When the soundbar decodes an Atmos or DTS:X soundtrack, all sound modes are disabled. However, they can still be handy for less immersive content. The Adaptive Sound Control is a valuable tool that adjusts the processing based on the content.
The Movie and Music modes do precisely what they claim. Bass Blast can also be used, while the Night mode can help not to disturb the rest of your house. The Auto Volume Leveller can be applicable on commercial channels, where the adverts are often louder.
Performance TL:DR: This sub-bar and powerful combo create a massive wall of sound, despite not having a center speaker. Although the front dominates the immersive audio, it is still imposing.
A kind of soundbar from the same LG brand with similar features you can consider: LG SK1 Soundbar Review
You can then do many things. The soundbar can be placed under your LG TV, which allows you to enjoy movies, series, and games with better sound quality (especially when compared to standard television speakers). It is possible to connect any device directly to the soundbar, so there’s no need for an interface on your TV.
If you want to play music through Bluetooth, for example, you can do it from your smartphone or tablet using a music player or streaming service.
The device supports Google Cast, Spotify Connect, and other music streaming services. Make wifi. You can use the included remote control to operate the soundbar from anywhere without an app.
You can adjust the sound mode, change the source, and control the volume. You can adjust aspects like the volume, higher or lower tones, and available media control buttons.
The buttons for media control are handy. You can connect an external hard drive to the LG SK9Y to play the tracks. The free app allows you to access all functions and a little more. You can also access music stored on a NAS or laptop from there. You can also use Google Assistant, available in the Netherlands later in the year.
The LG SL9 sound bar with Dolby Atmos is an excellent choice for movie lovers. It offers incredible performance and a rich, immersive audio experience to please all. The sound quality is superb, and the subwoofer provides a solid base. It’s an excellent addition to have Google Assistant, which allows the SL9 to do more than reproduce music.
This model is slightly more expensive than the competition in many other aspects. It lacks a dedicated center speaker, but that does not affect its performance. The soundbar cannot pass HDR10+, and there is only one HDMI input.
Other Soundbars Worth Considering
For $800 (PS800, AU$1,099), the Samsung HW-Q70R can be a great option. It offers a similar performance and has a few more features. Due to its 3.1.2-channel setup, the Q70 Dolby Atmos and DTSX.
It also has a dedicated speaker in the center. It only has one HDMI input like the SL9 but can pass HDR10+. Although Samsung does not come with an intelligent assistant, it can still work with Amazon Alexa. It also sounds great with music.
Is LG SL9YG equipped with eARC?
LG SL9YG features Dolby atmos and DTSX support but not HDR10+ and eARC.
Is SL9YG compatible with Bluetooth?
The SL9YG includes a wireless subwoofer. It is made of MDF with three sides covered in black fabric and a plain grey top plate.
There are two options for wireless connections: Bluetooth (v4.) and wifi (5GHz and 2.4GHz). 2 SBC) can be used as a Bluetooth speaker and supports Google Chromecast built-in.
The LG SK9Y soundbar is a powerful audio device that you can use to enhance your TV and home theater setup. The soundbar is designed with Dolby Atmos technology, providing an immersive surround sound experience that will make your ears feel as if they are indeed in action.
Dolby Atmos is a beneficial technology, so this soundbar deserves a place in any home. However, it is priced at a higher level than other soundbars on the market, making it more difficult to afford.
Thanks for reading our article. Hooke Audio hopes that this soundbar review has been helpful for you. If you have any comments or questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment below.